Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Worth checking out today

MSNBC - Free credit report details announced
The east coast isn't eligible until September of 2005, but I'd recommend checking yours as soon as it's open in your state. I know people who have had errors, or even whole credit histories that didn't belong to them.

Yahoo! News - Study: Nuclear Medicine Can Trigger Security Alarms
Just what we need, another thing tying up airport security.

I need to figure out how to set up a permanent links section on the side bar. Once I do, I'll throw a few webpages up there. In other news, the "perfect black pants" are supposed to be delivered tomorrow! More details later.

UPDATE: Links section. I'm awesome.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Uncle Sam's Credit Card

MSNBC Answer Desk - a pretty good explanation about how the government can mangle finances and produce money out of thin air (it must be magic!)

And while on the subject of money, I give you:
The Truth about Taxes
by Anonymous

Let's put tax cuts in terms everyone can understand.
Suppose that every day, ten men go out for dinner.
The bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men-the poorest-would pay nothing;
The fifth would pay $1:
The sixth would pay $3;
The seventh $7;
The eighth $12;
The ninth $18.
The tenth man-the richest-would pay $59.

That's what they decided to do. The ten men ate dinner in the restaurant every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement-until one day, the owner threw them a curve.

"Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20." So now dinner for the ten only cost $80. The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So the first four men were unaffected. They would still eat for free. But what about the other six-the paying customers? How could they divvy up the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his "fair share?" The six men realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would end up being *paid* to eat their meal.

So the restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay. And so the fifth man paid nothing, the sixth pitched in $2, the seventh paid $5, the eighth paid $9, the ninth paid $12, leaving the tenth man with a bill of $52 instead of his earlier $59. Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to eat for free.

But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.
"I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth. "But he got $7!"
"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got seven times more than me!"
"That's true!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $7 back when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!"
"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"
The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night he didn't show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and ate without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They were $52 short! And that, boys and girls, journalists and college instructors, is how the tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up at the table anymore.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

I went to school here!

The lake at Sweet Briar
Props to Julia for taking and sending the picture.

Thanksgiving was really great. We had tons of food, saw The Incredibles with my brother and sister (and Seth), and watched a lot of good football - including a nailbiter VT-UVA game on Saturday. After church today, we went to AFI to see Finding Neverland with Sean and Jen. It was a pretty neat movie - very feel-good. After a late lunch at Ruby Tuesdays, Matt and I spent the rest of the evening watching VH1's 100 one-hit wonders.

Back to work tomorrow...according to UPS my textbook for next semester has already been delivered. Now all I need are my black pants (see below) and a jacket that's been back-ordered at JC Penney for a month, and I'll be all set.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Perfect black pants

Aren't they wonderful?

I found them on overstock.com for $58. Marked down from $140. Unfortunately I had to tack on $18 for expedited shipping so they'd get here in time for the holiday party season which starts on December 4th. But since I'm going to be wearing them several times throughout the month, it averaged out to about $17 per occasion. Not too shabby.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004


Kim picked up our cat, who looked rather unhappy.
"You need to support her bottom when you hold her." - Me
"You mean her hindquarters?" - Mike
"BUTT!" - Matt

All I wanted was some fricking chinese food

But no...there had to be a blackout of everything east of Washington Street. And I just can't bring myself to pay $5 for a sandwich. I ended up with popcorn chicken, after waiting in line for 20 minutes.

Jason is a lucky guy:

The Lab - Rhoda, Staci, me, Jason, Megan and Kim (Byungwoo was a loser and didn't come to lunch with us that day)

And finally, this is just plain funny:
MSNBC - Bush Kills Turkey, Pardons Tom DeLay

I hate Maryland

Who uses a weed wacker at 7:30 in the morning in the rain? That's right, our maintainence people. I swear, 90% of this state has the IQ of a mackeral.

In other news...
Researchers developing male birth control pill
Yeah, it looks good on paper. But then, so did communism. The reason why this will never work? Because men cannot remember anything that doesn't involve cars, sports, computers, or things that directly affect their ability to live and thus drive/build cars, play/watch sports, or build/play computers. Men forget anniversaries, to take the trash out until it's almost as high as the countertop, to put the toilet seat down. And we want to trust them to remember to take a pill everyday so that their partner doesn't get pregnant?? My advice to stockholders - don't sell your shares of Ortho-McNeil anytime soon. I have the feeling this is going to go the way of the slap bracelet.

Now Listening: Z104 Morning Show

Monday, November 22, 2004

New picture

I decided to change the picture over on the right. The new one is 2 1/2 years old (taken in Lynchburg while celebrating my and Nicole's 21st birthdays) but at least I don't look like I have 2 chins. Hopefully before the holidays are over, I can get a current picture up there that still makes me look under 150.

One pie down, two to go. Making, not eating.

Breaking medical news

Yahoo! News - Chocolate May Hold Cure for Coughs

This is the best discovery I've heard in quite a while. Where do I sign up for clinical trials?

Sunday, November 21, 2004

What is this world coming to?

New video game recreates Kennedy assassination

MSNBC - Debt limit to rise to $8.18 trillion

The first link, I just don't get at all. Trying to recreate the Kennedy assassination and losing points for hitting Jackie O? I mean come on, aren't there enough violent video games out there without trying to recreate tragic episodes? What's next, a video game where you fly planes into the World Trade Center and lose points if you hit too high or low?

The second link just disgusts me. If anyone else in this country spent like the US government did, they'd be in jail. Instead, they just pass legislation that lets them keep stuffing their fat bloated wallets and keep spending our "dollars."

Now Watching: American Dreams

Something for everyone

He went into his father's business
He lived at home until he was 33
He was sure his Mother was a virgin, and his Mother was sure he was God

He never got married
He was always telling stories
He loved green pastures

His first name was Jesus
He was bilingual
He was always being harassed by the authorities

He talked with his hands
He had wine with every meal
He worked in the building trades

He called everybody "brother"
He liked Gospel
He couldn't get a fair trial

He never cut his hair
He walked around barefoot
He started a new religion

He had to feed a crowd, at a moments notice, when there was no food
He kept trying to get the message across to a bunch of men who just didn't get it
Even dead, he had to get up because there was more work for him to do


Well, the poker night was a success...in the end, however, my hands were not. Sarah managed to cash in, literally, on her beginner's luck and take first place; Ryan and Matt finished a close second and third respectively under the wrath of Sarah's pocket pairs. I came in fourth, in front of Matt McHugh, Mike, Kim and Phil (in that order...I think). Next time we need to start on time, and maybe we'll all get to bed at a decent hour. As for me, I am off to teach the first chapter of James at Sunday School, and then find some way to amuse myself while Matt and Ryan play computer games.

Now Playing: Howie Day - Collide

Saturday, November 20, 2004

New Webpage!

So I decided to give this website thing another try. Props to Matt Skinner for inspiring me to get a blogspot account. It looks like it'll be a lot easier to work with than geocities (no HTML!) Anyway, I'll try to keep things fresh around here. But first, I have to clean our apartment for poker night tonight.